Student Switch Off is our award-winning inter-halls sustainability competition rewarding halls that achiive the biggest savings in energy, waste and/or water. Providing a structure for sustainability engagement within accommodation, students can take part in regular social media competitions and on site activities get training to become a campaign ambassador, helping their sustainability literacy and employability. 

Find full programme information here:

In 2018/19 Student Switch Off was run in 27 locations across the UK with institutions and/or private accommodation providers. Reaching 107,000 students, engaging over 40,000 through our social media pages, online climate change quizzes, photo competitions, pledge schemes and training events. Last year the campaign delivered energy reductions averaging 7%  per university and in the majority of cases has covered its costs via the energy/money saved from student behaviour change. 

Student Switch Off 2019/20 fees


Small campus

(Up to 2,000 students

in accommodation)

Medium campus

(between 2,001 and 3,000

students in accommodation)

Large campus

(Over 3,001 students

in accommodation)

£4,000 (+VAT)

£5,500 (+VAT)

£7,000 (+VAT)


Campaign activity will be tailored based on the size and requirements of each campus, with bespoke support agreed based on the following categories:

Support and planning 

  • Detailed planning meeting to fully integrate SSO into your campus culture, key dates and local logistics; 
  • On-going campaign feedback over the course of academic year; 
  • Analysis of sustainability data (typically energy data) to maintain campaign leaderboard;
  • Invitation to NUS sustainability training/networking events to support the professional development of your staff and student leaders; 
  • End of year campaign report.

NB. You will need to provide us energy data at least twice a year (usually end of winter and spring terms). If you want to include recycling and water data in your leaderboard, you will also need to provide this.

Beginning of term campaign publicity 

  • Warden/residential assistant SSO training to induct and engage key student staff members to support wider student population in campaign; 
  • Attendance to arrival weekend/halls induction event to engage students as they enter halls or attendance to freshers’ fair to raise awareness and sign-up students;
  • SSO branded campaign resources for freshers’ fayre and arrival activities. 

NB. you will need to provide access to attend the Fresher’s Fayre/arrival event

Student training and development

  • Ambassador training for student leaders within accommodation;
  • SSO branded fairtrade T-shirt and resources to enable ambassadors to promote campaign;
  • Ambassador support to continue to engage in campaign and develop their sustainability leadership experience

NB. you will need to book a room to run the training event.

Communications and Social Media Activity 

  • Bespoke Student Switch Off webpage ( 
  • Regular communication with students opted in to campaign via email and social media; 
  • Regular social media competitions over the year including week long targetted campaigns;
  • Two online climate change quizzes;
  • Template communication materials such as posters and social media graphics;
  • Sourcing of prizes for a number of social media competitions. 

NB. You will need to send approximately 4-5 emails on our behalf throughout the year to all students living in halls, at strategic parts of the year.

On campus activity

  • Halls of residence/students’ union/dining hall visits to engage students in the campaign
  • Support in the organisation of the end-of-year celebratory event for the winning hall

NB. You will need to give us access to halls so we can do the visits

Not included in the cost:

  • Any cost incurred for the provision of a stand at freshers’ fair;
  • Printing and distribution of posters in halls of residence;
  • End-of-year overall prize for the winning hall.

Student Switch Off – Recycling audits

We offer recycling as part of the standard Student Switch Off package with the option of recycling audits as a bolt-on. The Student Switch Off campaign will include the promotion of your local recycling processes on your SSO bespoke webpage, recycling-themed social media competitions, analysis of recycling data (where available) and can add a recycling dimension to the overall inter-halls competition.

The recycling audits cost 70p per student per audit, and involve completing a pre-notified visual waste and recycling audit in halls kitchens. Kitchens segregating their waste correctly will be given Fairtrade chocolate rewards and kitchen-specific feedback will be left using a ‘recycleometer’ card. The audit cost includes all materials (recycleometer cards, Fairtrade chocolates) as well as the cost of student helpers and our staff time to complete the audits.

Recycling Audit: £0.70/student per audit (+VAT)


Criteria required to run the recycling audits are:

  • Must be running the Student Switch Off energy-saving project;
  • Access to hall kitchens to conduct recycling audits;
  • Optional provision of a communal incentive (e.g. party or financial contribution to winning hall, as with the energy competition).

It is desirable, but not essential, for recycling data to be measured at the hall level (the competitive element can be adapted to other metrics).


Student Switch Off - Energy dashboard bolt-on

If you have automated energy metering throughout your accommodation you may be interested to add on the energy dashboard to your Student Switch Off package. This utilises real time energy data to create an up to date accommodation leaderboard to provide regular feedback for your students. For more information on the dashboard, the technical requirements and a quotation for your campus please contact us via email. 


Student Switch Off+

As an additional benefit, through our Horizon 2020 funding, since 2017 energy saving information and advice focused on private rented accommodation has been provided to every student who has signed up to support Student Switch Off in residences in the year proceeding them moving out of university accommodation. From our Homes Fit For Study research we found that students often felt uncomfortably cold in their homes, and struggled to pay their bills, affecting both their physical and mental health. Our advice aims to tackle this and focuses on:

  • House hunting advice focusing on recognising signs of damp, types of heating and property energy performance
  • An example energy bill to demonstrate the actual cost of energy in private accommodation
  • Online training with a focus on energy saving advice, house hunting information, smart meters, and tariff options/switching energy providers
  • Up to 5 energy saving themed competitions on social media and an online home energy quiz
  • Regular advice emails and newsletters
  • SSO+ webpage with good practice guides and advice

Sign up to this programme through our online form

For more information on any element of Student Switch Off, please contact Joanna Romanowicz, International Programmes Manager  07970 296976